By Max Alexander
The hilarious tale of 2 brothers, a truckload of batteries, and an excellent plan to deliver light--and new company opportunities--to Ghana
At age forty seven, Whit Alexander, the yankee co-founder of the skull board online game, made up our minds to begin a brand new company promoting reasonable items and providers to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, got here alongside to inform the tale. Neither of them may have expected simply how a lot of an event they’d locate there.
In Ghana, Whit's preliminary aim is to marketplace a top quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers may perhaps use to strength their flashlights and radios, in addition to to cost their cellphones. If winning, he deliberate to develop a bigger for-profit company in keeping with these batteries--creating a relied on African model that may offer life-enhancing items, companies, and jobs, with out hoping on charity.
Ghana, even if, provides striking demanding situations, and the brothers salary day-by-day battles opposed to lethal bugs, insane using stipulations, unspeakable meals, voodoo clergymen, corrupt officers, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their option to luck. From signing up buyers who earn a number of money a month at so much to education staff with out Western-style paintings event, the brothers fast research that beginning a enterprise in Africa calls for single-minded concentration, a feeling of humor, and many patience.
Along the best way, Whit and Max relive their very own early life, bickering around the African bush and studying very much approximately Africans in addition to themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and eventually inspiring, Bright lighting fixtures, No City demanding situations approved notions of charity, exhibits the facility of broadening your horizons, and means that there's wish and chance in Africa.
Praise for Bright lighting fixtures, No City:
"An affectionate, good-humored and eventually inspiring account of 1 American's decision to make great things happen."
--Kate Braestrup, manhattan instances bestselling writer of Here if you would like Me
"My boss, invoice Gates, coined the word 'creative capitalism' to motivate using marketplace forces to handle the desires of the negative. yet my good friend, Whit Alexander, moved artistic capitalism from principles to daring perform. Bright lighting, No City will scratch your go back and forth trojan horse, tickle your corporation mind, and contact your heart."
--Patty Stonesifer, former CEO of the invoice & Melinda Gates Foundation
"I completely loved this experience, which is helping to turn out that what a lot of the constructing international wishes is a hand up, now not a hand out."
--John wooden, founding father of Room to learn and writer of Leaving Microsoft to alter the World
"I enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed Bright lighting, No City. A journey de strength! Bravo. it truly is perceptive, informative, considerate, attractive, funny."
--Carey Winfrey, editor emeritus, Smithsonian journal and previous Africa correspondent, New York Times
"Max Alexander has woven a compassionate and oft-times hilarious story of the Brothers Alexander's try and shop the realm, one rechargeable battery at a time. when you have any curiosity in an exceptional tale or assisting the opposite four billion, learn this publication, now."
--W. Hodding Carter, writer of Westward Whoa and A Viking Voyage
"A lyrically written common testimony to the humanity that binds everybody jointly in this fragile planet, Bright lighting fixtures, No City is a deeply relocating and humorous, can't-put-it-down book."
--Frank Schaeffer, writer of Crazy for God
"This ebook is full of the eagerness and incessant pursuit that it takes to make goals come to existence, and reminds you that it takes compassion, success, and humor to make historical past. A needs to learn for each entrepreneur."
--Richard Tait, Co-Founder, skull; CEO, Galazo
Read or Download Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan PDF
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Extra resources for Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan
We sat within the ordinary plastic patio chairs, yet this time we weren’t less than a mango tree in a village with a gong-gong guy. This time we accrued lower than the awning of the Redeemer store on the noisy tro-tro station. In case somebody may omit it, the shop acknowledged REDEEMER REDEEMER REDEEMER around the cornice. Redeemer bought the standard mixture of every little thing, Africa’s model of a brand new England common store—from aluminum bowls to spaghetti to fits to cans of Malta and penny sweet in jars. And batteries—both Tiger Head Ds and sunlight Watt AAs. the landlord, Emmanuel, was once a gray-haired guy in a shiny purple conventional African gown with fancy black piping that's mostly worn for funerals. He greeted us with the standard Ghanaian smile and warmth—“You are welcome,” he said—and went off to get his spouse, Janet Twumasi. It quickly transpired that Janet was once the true boss, for once we sat down she introduced she was once not drawn to promoting our batteries. “It’s too complicated,” she acknowledged. This was once no longer a complete shock, as she had relayed as a lot to Kevin a number of days prior. He had talked her again into this system, and so far as we knew she used to be on board. yet now she was once waffling back. Whit whipped out his mobile and dialed Kevin, then positioned her on. a number of mins of Twi later, she was once again within the application, yet I didn’t experience a lot enthusiasm. It appeared transparent that the traditional Burro education process—starting with the inspiring rundown of the company’s values and commitments to empowering Africans—would fall flat right here. “You larger lower to the chase,” I murmured to Whit. “No kidding. ” We have been joined via Christy, the daughter of the shopkeeper 100 yards away within the roundabout. Christy appeared extra plugged in to the idea that. “If somebody is available in to shop for Tiger Head, i'll inform them that Burro is a greater deal,” she stated. No such perception from Janet, who appeared mystified by means of the complete coupon-book factor. She was once, although, laser-focused at the twenty-pesewa person buy offer—even notwithstanding that rate shoppers more cash and earned her much less fee. certainly she used to be making plans to push person recharges, and never even inform clients concerning the “complicated” money-saving coupons. We walked over to Christy’s father’s store, the place she labored at the back of a five-foot-long glass show case that contained not anything yet packaged cookies—I counted a dozen different types of chocolate chips, ginger snaps, and others. I’m no professional in promotion, however it appeared a strange use of best retail frontage contemplating the cornucopia of wares on provide within the shop—especially as every one cookie model used to be piled a number of applications throughout. Assuming it was once crucial that her clients see each model of cookie on hand, wouldn’t it suffice to reveal one instance of every? I stuck Whit’s eye and nodded towards the demonstrate case. He with courtesy prompt to Christy that she may possibly consolidate the cookies and make a bit room for a stack of Burro batteries. She nodded in contract. Whit and that i checked out one another as though to claim, “No time just like the current!